Tips on Starting A Small Business
By John Edmond
Small businesses have many challenges to stay afloat. Many budding entrepreneurs think that all they need is an idea or product, a name for their small business, and a bit of work and the product will sell itself and money will come rolling in. If you have ever run a small business - even a home based business - you will know there's much more to it than that!
The first thing you, as a potential small business owner must always do, is research your market. Then research your competition, then the available supply for your product or service, and find your unique selling position. This alone can take weeks often months.
Once you are satisfied that there is a market for your product or service then you need to sort out your business plan and cash flow projections.
Small businesses may appear low cost but many suck up substantial capital before they turn a profit so now, unless you are very fortunate, you must sort out how to finance your small business. Do you remortgage your house? look for investment partners? borrow from friends or family? or approach the bank? Whichever you choose you need to convince others that your small business will be profitable and they will get a return on their money.
Once finances are in place the hard work starts. You may have premises to arrange, suppliers to sort out, staff to recruit and mangage, accounts to keep, products to design or source, lawyers to consult, accountants to hire and we must not forget in all of this market and get the all important customers to look at and purchase your products.
To do that you have to advertise your small business, but where and at what cost? Don't forget you have to provide customer support and accept returns. Then there's waste disposal ... and on and on.
Who's paying for all of this - in simple terms you, and your friends, investors and/or your bank are paying, until you are selling sufficient product or service to cover the costs - usually many months or even years away.
New small businesses rarely return a profit in the first year and frequently not for two or three years. Make sure you can finance it properly.
Is it worth doing it? That's your decision but every year tens of thousands of people do start their own business and many are succesful and reap the rewards of all that hard work. But many also fail, and all too often it's due to lack of preparation
If you're about to set off on your new business venture prepare well and Good Luck. With good planning, persistence and a lot of hard work you too can build a profitable small business.
About the Author
John Edmond worked for many years in insurance and finance and now writes on a number of topics including small business and finance. Go to Small Business for more articles on business and finance.
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